In the US, 58% of the total population rely on milk as a source of high quality protein, accounting for 21 million metric tons annual consumption. Milk is regarded as one of the finest sources of nutrition across all geographies, with consumption beginning from the time the child is weaned. There multiple claims and myths about the benefits of milk, and this has led to an explosive growth in dairy products. One of the most common beliefs is the impact of milk on the growth of children. We will take a scientific, evidence backed look to answer the question does milk make you taller ? This will help clear the air and set the record straight on nutrition from milk and the documented benefits, including is impact on growth. It is necessary to understand the whole narrative as the question does not have a binary yes/no answer.
What impacts the growth of children? Does milk make you taller?
The primary factor that determines a person’s height is genetic makeup. It is virtually impossible for individuals to break out of the genetic grip and achieve abnormal growth. However, there are other factors that contribute to the growth of individuals. For instance the activity levels, hormones, and nutrition can make a positive impact on the growth of individuals. There is a limit to the impact of these influencing factors. Scientists have quantified the role of genetics and other factors on a person’s height – with genetics believed to be responsible for 80% of a person’s height, while other factors contribute to 20% of the height of a person. This in a nutshell, answers the question – does milk make you taller? Let us now drill down into additional details to see the impact of milk on a person’s height.
Does milk make you taller than the maximum possible height pre-determined by genetics?
There is a clear answer to this question. Genetics more or less pre-determines the maximum height of a person. This height or growth of an individual is what is achievable in normal circumstances, provided the individual receives the right nutrition, and the hormones work along expected lines. In addition to this, the medical condition of the individual and the activity levels are also important for the individual to attain the maximum possible height and growth levels. Individuals, in whom all the above conditions are not fulfilled, will find themselves falling short of the maximum possible height or growth. Therefore does milk make you taller than the maximum possible height as pre-determined by genetics? No, it does not. However, it can contribute to the overall growth of an individual in combination with other factors.
How does milk contribute to the growth of individuals?
Milk is a rich source of nutrients and individuals with deficient nutrient levels are more likely to have health issues in addition to impaired growth. Milk is one of the finest sources for Vitamin A, D and calcium. Vitamin A is essential for the growth of bones, while Vitamin D helps in ensuring that the strength of bones are maintained. Calcium is important – being the building block for bones. Without the three nutrients, individuals are less likely to achieve growth, and this is precisely why milk is a part of daily diet. Here it is important to understand that the answer to the question does milk make you taller needs to be interpreted in the right manner. Milk is vital for growth and contributes to achievement of the maximum possible growth of an individual as per genetic makeup.
How much of milk should be ideally consumed?
As the answer to the question does milk make you taller becomes clearer in terms of the nutrient value, it is now time to look at the daily recommended quantity of milk that has to be consumed for health and growth. The recommended consumption is as per age groups. For instance children between four and eight years of age are recommended to consume 20 ounces of milk daily, while children above the age of nine are recommended to consume twenty four ounces of milk daily. In other words children between the ages of four to eight need to take two and a half glasses of milk daily, while older children need to consume three glasses of milk daily.
Health benefits of drinking milk
In addition to answering the question does milk make you taller it is also important to look at the health benefits of consuming milk. Among the multiple health benefits from milk consumption, studies have revealed that milk can help risk of high blood pressure and is a part of special diets to control hypertension. Similarly, milk also helps to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, making it an essential dietary component for adults and adolescents. Various brands of milk products are fortified to improve the nutrient value and this can further address the need for nutrients among specific sections of society or age groups.
Does milk make you taller and does it depend on the different sources of milk?
There are claims and counterclaims about the impact of different sources of milk on growth. While some reports suggest that milk from different sources are the same in terms of impact on growth, there are certain studies that indicate a slight difference in growth based on the source of milk. For instance, a study conducted three years ago, published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that children who consumed cows milk had better results than children who consumed milk from other sources. While the difference in terms of growth that were recorded is not significant, the study points to a difference in growth results. Effectively the answer to the question does milk make you taller depending on the sources of milk is in the affirmative. The source of milk does have an impact on the results to a certain extent. There are suggestions that this change is probably attributed to the hormones added to cows milk. This could be true, as a majority of the global population consume cows milk when compared with other alternatives. Consequently, cows milk has more fortified nutrients, which could explain the improved growth outcomes.
The clear, unambiguous answer to the question – does milk make you taller?
To sum up, the answer to the question does milk make you taller is pretty clear. Milk does contribute to the growth of individuals and is essential from a nutrient perspective. However, milk or any other nutrition, cannot make a person grow taller beyond a particular height that is pre-determined by genetics. The maximum possible height or growth is governed by genetic makeup and barring a few exceptions, all individuals can only attain this maximum possible height and growth. Here, it is again important to understand that without the right nutrition, hormonal activity and health condition, individuals will not achieve the maximum possible height/growth despite the genetic makeup. As established by science, the genetic makeup contributes to 80% of the growth of individuals, while other factors such as nutrition, health condition and hormonal activity contribute to 20% of the overall growth.